Existing-Home Sales Not As Good As It Sounds

Earlier this week, you may have heard some headlines about Existing Home Sales being “at their highest annual pace of the year,” and on the “rebound” in September after a “modest decline” in August. Well, yes, but….

Existing-Home Sales data collected by the National Association of Realtors® measures sales and prices of existing single-family homes for the nation overall, and gives breakdowns for the West, Midwest, South, and Northeast regions of the country. These figures include condos and co-ops, in addition to single-family homes.

While unit sales in September were higher by 2.4% compared with August, the September 2014 count was LOWER by 1.7% compared with September 2013. At best, I’d call this a flat market, not a rising one.

The West Region, including Arizona, shows an exaggeration of the national numbers: Existing-home sales in the West jumped 7.1 percent to an annual rate of 1.20 million in September, but remain 4.0 percent below a year ago. The median price in the West was $294,200, which is 4.0 percent above September 2013.”

Of particular interest is this observation about the data: The percent share of first-time buyers continues to under perform historically, remaining at 29 percent for the third consecutive month. First-time buyers have represented less than 30 percent of all buyers in 17 of the past 18 months.”

In sum, keep your hats on and your powder dry — we’re not through this interesting spell in the real estate market yet.


Existing-Home Sales Rebound in September | realtor.org.

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